10 ways to make your corporate description (boilerplate) less dreadful

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It’s there. At the bottom of your press releases, on the “Who we are” section of your website, at the end of your whitepapers. It’s the “boilerplate” description of your company. And it’s terrible. You’ve got 50 to 60 words to tell the world who you are, but if you’re like most companies, what you’re … Continued

Why getting stuck is part of coming up with great titles and taglines

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I help people with book titles and taglines. It’s not a linear process, and progress is impossible to measure. That’s a feature, not a bug. I had this insight recently when working with a client on a tagline for his business, along with some other language. (A tagline is a short description of what you … Continued

A second Bitcoin blackmail scam, based on hacked passwords

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There’s a new Bitcoin blackmail scam circulating — this time based on passwords from website breaches. This extortion email is likely to be less effective than the paper letters because it’s full of obvious errors. My post last April about the Bitcoin blackmail letter in my mailbox has become popular. It generates over 300 views … Continued

The digital clutter tax: how taxing marketing impressions would improve everything

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We tax things that are bad for society, like tobacco, alcohol, and gambling. Unfettered, undifferentiated internet advertising and marketing impressions are bad for our souls. Let’s tax them, too. Spam. Clutter. Noise. There is just too much of it. Raise your hand if your inbox is full of stupid, pointless, and undifferentiated offers. Say “aye” … Continued

What do your customers need to know?

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I’m visiting Belgium. In Bruges, we stopped into Jilles Beer and Burgers — look, not every meal can be a gourmet experience — and found this on the last few pages of their little menu booklet. I’m sure the servers, sick of answering “Are there nuts in the Cheesy Nelson?” and a 300 other permutations, … Continued

Content marketing is good for your soul — and your company’s, too

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Content marketing is a way to drive traffic to your site, get leads, and generate business, right? Well, sure. But if that’s all it is, it’s just inside-out advertising. No, I think there’s more to it than that. I’m considering this as I prepare for three upcoming conferences. Starting tomorrow, May 2, I’ll be at … Continued

My Bitcoin blackmail experience started with a well-written letter

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I got a Bitcoin blackmail letter in the mail on Saturday. They did a much better job than those Nigerian prince scams you get by email. Here’s the text of the letter: JOSHUA BERNOFF [my address] Hello Joshua, I’m going to cut to the chase. My name is RedDust~10 and I know about the secret … Continued